5 Aug 2016

Guam abuse campaigner says church scandal strengthens case for change

1:37 pm on 5 August 2016

An anti-abuse campaigner on Guam says allegations against the Catholic Church have strengthened the case for a law change to enable civil action to be brought against those accused of child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron

Archbishop Anthony Apuron Photo: Pacific Daily News

A public hearing was held in Guam this week to consider a bill to lift the two year statute of limitations on civil lawsuits.

School teacher Joe Santos who started a petition calling for the law change said he was heartened by the support shown for the bill during the hearing.

He said allegations Guam's Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested or raped four altar boys in the 1970s showed the need for change.

"It's just evident that these people have no recourse to face their abuser because the statute of limitations have all passed. It gives it kind of hard proof that a law such as this needs to be passed."

Joe Santos said the legislation was progressing quickly as there had been little opposition to it.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs